Conference for 6th–12th grade youth—featuring Perryn Rice and Sera Chung—continues online registration through November 15
by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed in 2017, thousands of young people will be honoring his legacy not only on January 16, but over the entire holiday weekend—even over a lifetime—of service as they gather in Orlando, Florida, for a unique event called Faith in 3D.
Focused on equipping young people to be the change in the world that they most want to see, Faith in 3D is a collaborative effort between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
The event, which is open to 6th through 12th grade youth from diverse Christian backgrounds, will be held January 13–16, 2017 at Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort. Online registration, which opened on May 2, has just been extended until November 15.
Worship leadership includes Perryn Rice, senior pastor of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas; Sera Chung, director of recruitment, Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary; Timothy Peoples, pastoral resident, Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas; and Twain’s Jackrabbit, a worship band from Greensboro, N.C.
“One of the things that makes this conference unique is the date—MLK weekend, when youth from all over the country with varied backgrounds will gather in the most accepting place in the world to worship and reflect on the teachings of Christ over a weekend that remembers one of the Lord’s greatest servants,” says Rice, who earlier this year charged and inspired nearly 4,700 young people at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. “No, Dr. King wasn’t perfect, but his message of unity and the power to break racial barriers—which would later include many barriers, as Coretta Scott King once shared—still is perfect. Hopefully we’ll all leave inspired to further this type of perfection.”
With a blend of engaging worship, recreation, partnered with the “built-in” elements of Disney World—and
some serious social-media-based community building and exploration—Faith in 3D promises to be a life-changing experience for any Presbyterian youth group.
“This conference constitutes an essential call to Presbyterians and particularly to young Presbyterians as we seek out relevant and timely ways to help our young people engage their natural sense of action with their developing desire to do something significant, something holy,” says Gina Yeager-Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth and the event’s sponsor. “But benevolence and tools for good engagement are learned tools, and this is a fantastic place and community in which to learn them.”
Rice, who like Chung, regularly receives many invitations to preach and to speak, doesn’t underestimate the appeal of this particular event’s Disney World setting.
“It’s kind of hard to say ‘no’ to an opportunity to serve at Disney, although there’s certainly a little more to it!” says Rice, whose son will also be attending Faith in 3D.
Every Faith in 3D participant will receive a 2-day park starter ticket, good for access into a single park each day it is used. Registration also includes hotel lodging, several meals, and the programming cost. Faith in 3D is also unique in that it is one of the few youth conferences to which a church can send its entire youth group, middle school through high school.
Laura Stover, Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Dodge, Iowa, has nine youth registered to attend the 2017 event, two of whom are repeat attendees from 2012, when Faith in 3D was last held.
“My Faith in 3D experience was great,” says Kaela Gollob, a youth from the Fort Dodge Church, who took part in 2012. “The worship messages really spoke to me and I felt even closer to God when I was there, and now as I have returned home. The prayer stations were peaceful and helped me really talk to God. Having 1,500 kids all be silent and praying was just amazing. The events at Faith in 3D Trip were super fun and I have grown closer to God and my friends.”
Such an understanding of what it means to be a community—one body in Christ—is just what Chung hopes the young people will take away as a result of having attended the 2017 event.
“I hope that our young people will know that the church is a living organism, and racism, which breaks down the community with its hostility and antagonism, makes the living body suffer,” Chung says. “I hope that our young people will truly exercise their ‘faith in 3D’—both for the church and for themselves—to go beyond the myopic and two-dimensional ways of viewing ourselves and the world, to listen to the multiple perspectives coming from our sisters and brothers, and to follow a third way that Jesus demonstrated: living into the full dimension of God’s calling to serve one another with love, justice, peace, and transformation.”
For more information or to register by November 15, visit the event website.
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